Kenora Mayor Dave Canfield says it's going to be expensive, when they legalize pot in the fall. He says mayors across the province have been studying what's happened in Colorado, where cannabis was legalized six years ago.
"The policy people went to Colorado and dealt from AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) there was increased costs," the mayor said yesterday.
Canfield is just back from a weekend meeting with mayors across the province, and he says there's a common concern.
"Nobody really knows, because there's no other country that's legalized it throughout the whole country," Canfield noted. "So, it's going to be kind of a wait-and-see."
The federal government has given the provinces until mid-October to work out the details, for the legal sale of cannabis. Ontario's new government gets sworn in Friday.
Until the new government is sworn in, It's a bit of a guessing game, Canfield said adding the city's taking a cautious approach.
"If this is going to cost us more, there'd better be more revenue to deal with it," Canfield noted.
Canfield has previously spoke out about the need of more taxation revenue for municipalities, specifically in regards to marijuana's upcoming legalization. In December, he said that municipalities will be facing extra costs due to the legalization, as policing and social services costs are expected to rise. Currently, municipalities only receive 9 cents per each tax dollar.
On October 17, Canadians over the age of 19 will be able to posses up to 30 grams of marijuana at a time. Consumption will be confined to private residences, as it will be illegal to consume in public places. Residents will also be allowed to cultivate four marijuana plants in their home.
Senate has also previously introduced and reinforced a number of laws regarding impaired driving, ahead of the expected marijuana legalization. The new, tougher laws against drug-impaired driving will include zero tolerance for: young drivers aged 21 and under, novice drivers – G1, G2, M1 and M2 licence holders and all commercial drivers.Roughly 29 per cent of all road fatalities in Ontario involve a driver impaired by drugs and/or alcohol.
Under former Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Ontario was set to open 40 retail stores later this year, controlled by the LCBO. Additionally, the federal government has indicated the online sales will be launched alongside retail locations.
People or businesses that are convicted of illegally selling or distributing cannabis could face fines of up to $250,000 for individuals, and / or jail time of up to two years. Corporations would face fines of up to $1 million for the same offence.
For more information:
Marijuana legalization date set